Rep. Aaron Schock Spent Donor, Taxpayer Funds On Katy Perry Concerts and Private Planes

Illinois Representative Aaron “Haters Gonna Hate” Schock, who you may remember from such hits as “Downton Abbey Themed Office” and “Super Racist Aide Who Thinks Black People Are Like Zoo Animals,” is currently the subject of an Associated Press investigation into his finance issues.

It turns out that Schock has spent taxpayer money and campaign funds on $40,000 worth of private plane rides since 2011, as well as on luxurious massages and even a Katy Perry concert. In fact, he actually listed the Katy Perry concert, which cost about $2000, as a “PAC Fundraising Event.” The AP actually tracked Schock’s spending habits through his own Instagram account, which he appears to spend way more time curating than actually doing anything in Congress.

Via AP:

Lawmakers can use office funds for private flights as long as payments cover their share of the costs. But most of the flights Schock covered with office funds occurred before the House changed its rules in January 2013. The earlier rules prohibited lawmakers from using those accounts to pay for flights on private aircraft, allowing payments only for federally licensed charter and commercial flights.

Schock’s House account paid more than $24,000 directly to a Peoria aviation firm for eight flights provided by one of Schock’s donor’s planes in 2011 and 2012. While the aircraft flies as part of an Illinois charter service, the owner of the service told the AP on Monday that any payments made directly to the donor’s aviation company would not have been for charter flights.

Beyond air travel, Schock spent thousands more on tickets for concerts, car mileage reimbursements — among the highest in Congress — and took his interns to a sold-out Katy Perry concert in Washington last June.

The AP found that Green’s plane traveled to at least eight cities last October in the Midwest and East Coast, cities where Schock met with political candidates ahead of the midterm elections. His Instagram account’s location data and information from the service FlightAware even pinpointed Schock’s location on a stretch of road near one airport before Green’s plane departed.

Campaign records show a $12,560 expense later that month to Jeff Green from a political action committee associated with Schock, called the “GOP Generation Y Fund.” That same month, the PAC paid $1,440 to a massage parlor for a fundraising event.

In November 2013, Schock cast votes in the Capitol just after Green’s plane landed at nearby Reagan National Airport. Shortly after Green’s return to Peoria, Schock posted a photo from his “Schocktoberfest” fundraising event at a brewery in his district. Schock billed his office account $11,433 for commercial transportation during that same, four-day period to a Peoria flight company, Byerly Aviation.

While perhaps one could make a case for the air travel–although the issue with donor planes is a real iffy one, and one that has gotten other politicians in trouble before–I’m gonna say that there is no explaining away of spending nearly $2000 on Katy Perry tickets for you and your interns.

“You can’t say no when your boss invites you. Danced my butt off,” one former intern posted on his Instagram account with a picture of Perry at her June 2014 show. PAC records show a $1,928 expense for the ticket service StubHub.com two months later, listing it only as a “PAC fundraising event.”

It seems that Schock–once a rising star in the Republican Party–may end up in some hot water over his Treat Yo Self tendencies. I mean, we all appreciate the finer things in life, but politicians aren’t just allowed to spend money on whatever the hell they want–even campaign funds. It’s not like donors give you money and then you can do anything you want with it, there are rules.

Given that Schock is still currently under an ethics investigation for allegations that he solicited donations through another politicians PAC, he might want to keep a lower profile when it comes to this kind of stuff for the time being. Maybe instead of using actual campaign funds and taxpayer money, he could simply start a Kickstarter for “Keeping Aaron Schock In The Lifestyle To Which He Has Become Accustomed” or something. It could probably work, I mean, if people are willing to donate money to help a cop who paralyzed an old man, I bet you there are people out there who would happily donate to help Aaron Schock take his interns to go see Taylor Swift and get mani-pedis.

[Associated Press]